Apple Butter Crumb Bars

Apple Butter Crumb Bars; easier than #apple pie. Go to for the #recipe. #GlutenFreeBaking #BakeSale

I was having my daily phone conversation with my mother and was going over my plans for apple crumb cake bars. You see, I always talk through my recipe plans with my mother before I start. I am convinced it bores the hell out of her but she always so politely pretends to care. (She has zero interest in baking. Zero.) So I am discussing my plan to cut up the apples when she interrupts me and says “What if you use apple butter? No working mom wants to slice apples.” “Hmm good point” I reply. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Apple Butter Crumb Bars; easier than #apple pie. Go to for the #recipe. #GlutenFreeBaking #BakeSale

Now I am not sure if apple butter is available everywhere but we are from Philadelphia where there is an Amish influence. So many of you may be asking yourselves, “What on earth is apple butter?” Apple butter is simply apples and apple cider puréed to the consistency of baby food. I have no idea why it is called apple butter since it does not contain any butter but I’d have to guess it sounds better than apple puree or apple mush. It tastes amazing and again sure beats having to peel and slice apples.

My mom will always find a shortcut if there is one but this time her desire to spend less time in the kitchen yielded something incredible. Way to go Mom!

Apple Butter Crumb Bars

Yields 8 bars or 9 squares

25 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

3 hr, 20 Total Time

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For the Shortbread Crust:

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

1 cup flour mix C

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Apple Butter Filling:

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 ¼ cup apple butter

For the Crumb Topping:

1 cup flour mix C

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 pinches ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


    For the Shortbread Crust:
  1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Grease the bottom of a 8-inch square baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Then line it with 2 sheets of foil or parchment paper in a crisscross pattern. Make sure the foil or paper overhangs the edges of the pan so you can easily lift out the bars when they are done.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the vanilla and melted butter to the bowl and mix with your fingers to fully incorporate.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and pat down firmly with your palm or the base of a glass. Make sure it covers the entire pan evenly. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.
  6. While the crust is baking…
  7. For the Apple Butter Filling:
  8. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Add the apple butter and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  9. For the Crumb Topping:
  10. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt.
  11. Stir in the melted butter. Rub the mixture between your fingers to form coarse crumbs.
  12. To assemble:
  13. Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350 degrees.
  14. Spread the apple butter filling evenly over the shortbread crust.
  15. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the apple butter filling. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown.
  16. Remove from the oven and place pan on a cooling rack. Allow the bars to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. Cover the bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Lift the foil or paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into 8 bars or 9 squares.

Apple Butter Crumb Bars; easier than #apple pie. Go to for the #recipe. #GlutenFreeBaking #BakeSale

4 thoughts on “Apple Butter Crumb Bars

  1. I ran out of excuses to grab one out of the box, so I just ate all the bars, the crumbs and any filling that was left on the paper. I will go apple picking at your request if you make these again.

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